Old Albanian RFC
|Full name||Old Albanian Rugby Football Club|
|Union||Rugby Football Union|
|Location||St Albans, England|
|Ground(s)||Woollam Playing Fields (Capacity: 1,000)|
|League(s)||National League 1|
|2015–16||2nd (promoted to National League 1 via play-off)|
Old Albanian Rugby Football Club (OAs) is a rugby club based in St Albans, Hertfordshire, England. The club won promotion from National League 2 South in 2011–12 to National League 1, and in 2012–13 finished 5th, their highest ever place in the English rugby union system. The cub was relegated from National One at the end of the 2014–15 season, after an administration error led to a five-point deduction; this meant that the club missed out on staying up by just a single point. They were promoted in 2015–16 a play-off and will play in National League 1 next season.
The club runs up to five senior teams each week, plus a strong Ladies section (OA Saints), and two Colts teams. OA's has one of the largest mini and junior sections of any rugby club in the country, with ore than 900 youngsters turning out every Sunday. There is a thriving social membership and members enjoy some of the finest facilities in the country. The club's mission is 'To promote the game of rugby at all levels of ability, across all age groups and for both sexes.'
- London NW Division 3 champions: 1995–96
- Hertfordshire Presidents Cup winners 1998
- Hertfordshire Sevens winners: 2001, 2009
- National League 3 (south-east v south-west) promotion play-off winners: 2009–10
- National League 2 South champions: 2011–12
- National 2 promotion play-off winners: 2015–16
|Played||Won||Drawn||Lost||Points for||Points against||Points diff||Try bonus||Losing bonus||Points|
|9||Darlington Mowden Park||29||13||1||15||669||750||−81||9||5||68|
Green background is the promotion place. Pink background are relegation places.
Updated: 22 April 2017
Source: "National League 1". NCA Rugby.
The club was formed in 1924 by a group of far-sighted Old Boys of St Albans School with a mutual love of the game. They acquired their first pavilion which was a timber World War I Barrack Hut, and located at Beech Bottom. Organised rugby was thus established in St Albans, providing rugby union for all. They are the largest community sports club in Hertfordshire.
OA RFC's recent achievements
1987 — Selected, with two other Hertfordshire clubs, to form part of London League Division 2
1996 — Won London NW Division 3 gaining promotion to London League Division 2 North
1998 — Won the Herts. President's Cup
2001 — Won the County Sevens and were runners up in the Herts. President's Cup
2003 — Promotion to London League Division One
2005 — Reached their then highest-ever league position (5th place in Powergen London One)
2009 — Won the Herts County 7s, runners up in the Herts County Cup Final. OA Colts reach both National Cup & Herts County Cup Finals and finish as Runners Up.
2012 — OAs gain promotion to National League 1
2013 — Achieved their highest ever position in National League rugby, 5th place in National League 1
Running five men's sides each week the club has grown to become one of the biggest in the country, featuring a full schedule of league and friendly fixtures.
1st XV — National League 1
2nd XV — Canterbury Shield, Division 2
3rd XV — Greene King Super Premier Division
4th XV — Herts Middlesex Merit Tables, Division 3
5th XV — Herts Middlesex Merit Tables, Division 5
Mini and junior rugby
OAs has recruited over 900 mini and junior rugby players. The minis enjoy good success in the Hertfordshire leagues, whilst the juniors are well represented in the Saracens Herts and Middlesex Junior leagues. Most age groups are able to provide three squads to the leagues and provide very good competition.
In 2005 the first women's XV ('The Saints'), unbeaten since November 2003, secured the South East One league title without losing a game. They won promotion to National League 2 in the subsequent play-off competition, securing victory over each of their regional rivals. In 2010 the OA Saints 1st XV gained promotion to the RFUW Premiership.
After 78 years based at Beech Bottom, the club moved to their current playing fields following the development of Cheapside Farm into The Woollam Playing Fields, generally referred to as "Woollam's". The playing facilities opened in 2002 with a club-selected XV match against a star-studded international XV led by Peter Winterbottom which formed the centre-piece of the opening ceremony.
The state-of-the-art sporting complex on the northern outskirts of St Albans was acknowledged as the largest sporting development in Europe during its construction. It is regarded by many as the finest amateur sporting venue in the land. The Woollam Playing Fields is the choice of Saracens for their home training base and has hosted both England Under 16 and England RFUW International matches.
OAs have had players recognized at county level and national level.
England: Maro Itoje
Wales : Paul Turner
Ireland : Darragh O'Mahony
Barbarians: Steve Pope, Greg Botterman
Serbia: Danilo Bulatovic
Sweden: Charlie Openshaw, Andrew Daish
Belgium : Craig Dowsett
England: Sarah McKenna
Italy: Nadia Brannon
Scotland: Caroline Collie
Hong Kong: Tamsin Reed